Privatisation of scottish ferries

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Dear Colleagues

Privatisation of Scottish ferries

Further to my previous Circular No. NP/0204/12 of 7th September 2012, I write to update you on the union’s campaign against unbundling and privatisation on CalMac Scottish ferry services.

RMT were part of an STUC meeting with Scottish Transport Minister Keith Brown MSP today on the 2013-19 contract for Clyde and Hebrides ferry services (CHFS). The Minister announced that CalMac’s contract would be extended by 3 years, to 2015 and that the tendering process for the next six year contract would begin in autumn 2014.

In addition, the previous commitment against unbundling profitable routes, given by Keith Brown to the General Secretary and National Secretary on 6th September, was confirmed. As a result, lifeline ferry services to the west coast of Scotland will be delivered under a single contract until 2021 at least and will be less attractive to private bidders.

RMT also received assurances from Keith Brown that the Scottish Government is committed to protecting CalMac employees’ pensions, and to negotiations with the union over this and wider workforce protections in the next CHFS contract. The delay before the next tendering process will give the union time to negotiate strong workforce and pension protections in the contract.

I would be grateful if you could bring this to the attention of all members in your branch and I will keep you advised of further developments, particularly in the context of the recent ballot result for industrial action in CalMac over pensions.

Yours sincerely

Bob Crow

General Secretary